The stature that is Greek mythology is firmly set in our collective unconsciousness. SPQR’s production of “Calliope Rose” energizes these hallowed beliefs into a format that identifies our own interpretations in a vibrant, creative way. The story takes place in the fictional East coast town of Beacon, known for the last manned lighthouse. The proprietor of this lighthouse is an abandoned Rose Walker (Dyan Kane), known as Calliope for her stern dedication to the ancient Greek religion. Her daughter, Tina (an enchanting Ashley Archambeau) or Athena, is the antithesis of Rose; she is modern, deceptive and cunning.
There are a frightening number of shipwrecks and Rose has been implicated in not operating the lighthouse during perilous conditions. Federal agent Hacke (Rob Ullett), in the guise of a painter, is sent to investigate. He is seduced by Tina, who wants her mother to put away and showcase the lighthouse as a tourist attraction. Yet, he falls under the charms of Rose who entices him into an alternative view of life and he seduces her. Rose is no longer lonely and is open to love again, when her long lost husband Jason (Chris Pauley) returns.
It becomes Jason’s task to realign himself as both husband and father. The last act immerses us into the lives of some very diverse philosophies and, by contrast, encapsulates them. “Calliope Rose” features innovative and clever staging. Writer and director Bill Sterritt’s script contains some heady concepts but does not neglect the emotional quotient. It is a fascinating glimpse of how ancient beliefs have filtered into our daily lives. Recommended.
“Calliope Rose” plays through March 7 at the Studio/Stage (520 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90004). For more information, call (323) 463-3900 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (Note: closing night followed by an Oscar® telecast and party.)